Automated Photo Enforcement Program - Block the Box

Following the 2020 Washington State legislative session, a pilot program was authorized for photo enforcement for blocking intersections (block the box), transit only lanes, and restricted lane access. In October 2020, the City of Seattle adopted an ordinance allowing the use of photo enforcement for the new areas mentioned above.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) and Seattle Police Department (SPD) have added new photo enforcement locations to address the issues of vehicles blocking an intersection after a traffic signal has turned red. It is illegal for drivers to enter an intersection unless they have a clear path to make it all the way through. This behavior is illegal and dangerous, increasing the risk of crashes and preventing people in crosswalks from safely crossing the street. This is especially dangerous for people with disabilities, as people who are blind, use wheelchairs, or have other mobility needs can get stuck in harm’s way in the middle of the street with no safe way back to the sidewalk. Blocking the box also increases congestion, preventing people from moving and bringing traffic to a standstill. 

Initially, 4 locations have been selected, and scheduled for installation and activation during the Spring/Summer 2022. Additional location may be included based on further data collection.

How do the cameras work?

Block the box diagram

Frequently Asked Questions

You have three payment options:

  1. Send a check or money order in U.S. funds, payable to Seattle Municipal Court, for the AMOUNT DUE shown on the front, on or before the DUE DATE. Please include the enclosed coupon with your payment. Write your Notice # and your license plate # on your check or money order. PLEASE DO NOT MAIL CASH.
  2. Pay through the internet, on or before the DUE DATE at or through our automated payment system accessible from any touch-tone telephone at (206) 233-7000.
  3. Pay in person, on or before the DUE DATE, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Court Payment Office on the 1st floor of the Seattle Municipal Court Building, 600 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA. A payment box is located in the front of the Seattle Municipal Court Building for after-hours convenience.

Use the coupon enclosed with your ticket to request a mitigation hearing or contested hearing. To submit a declaration of non-responsibility, follow the instructions on the ticket.

  • A HEARING TO EXPLAIN THE CIRCUMSTANCES: By requesting a mitigation hearing, you will be deemed to have committed the infraction. You may not subpoena witnesses for this hearing. You would request a mitigation hearing if you agree you committed the infraction but believe the circumstances may be such that the court could reduce or waive the penalty.
  • A HEARING TO CONTEST THE INFRACTION: At a contested hearing the City has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the infraction was committed. You may subpoena witnesses including the officer who issued this Notice of Infraction. If you request a contested hearing the Court will schedule a pre-hearing conference, which you may waive by using the form attached to the Notice of Hearing that the Court will send you.
  • SUBMIT A DECLARATION OF NON-RESPONSIBILITY: If your vehicle was stolen, sold by you prior to the date of the violation, or was otherwise not in your care, custody or control at the time of the violation, you may submit a sworn statement to that effect to the Court to rebut the presumption, established in SMC 11.31.090, that you were driving the vehicle at the time of the violation.

You may view the photographic images and video online at You must use the Notice # and PIN printed on the front of the notice to login.

Persons without access to a computer can visit any Seattle Public Library branch or at the Municipal Court (600 Fifth Avenue) to view photographic and video evidence.


Sue Rahr, Interim Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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The Seattle Police Department (SPD) prevents crime, enforces laws, and supports quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. SPD operates within a framework that divides the city into five geographical areas called "precincts".